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Top recommendations from locals

From sightseeing to hidden gems, find out what makes the city unique with the help of the locals who know it best.

Neighbourhood
“Built near Portsmouth Square, the historic heart of San Francisco, Chinatown is the oldest and one of the largest in the United States. The entrance to Chinatown at Grant Avenue and Bush Street is called the "Dragon's Gate." Inside are 24 blocks of hustle and bustle, most of it taking place along Grant, the oldest street in San Francisco. This city within a city is best explored on foot; exotic shops, food markets, temples and small museums comprise its boundaries. Visitors can buy herbal remedies, enjoy samples at a tea bar or order a "dim sum" lunch. The former central telephone exchange of the Pacific Telephone and Telegraph Company stands at 743 Washington St. Now a bank, it is the first Chinese-style building constructed in San Francisco, and the exact site where California's first newspaper was printed.”
  • 181 locals recommend
Hotel Bar
$$$
“Historic landmark since 1939. San Francisco Restaurant - Top of the Mark. Upscale Dining at InterContinental Mark Hopkins San Francisco: Soak in spectacular breathtaking views of the San Francisco skyline, Bay and the Golden Gate Bridge from our amazing penthouse lounge, the Top of the Mark. Located on the 19th floor of our grand hotel, this San Francisco restaurant with a view provides a 360-degree panorama along with a dance floor, signature martini menu and exciting events schedule that includes live music and performers several nights of the week.”
  • 75 locals recommend
Book Store
“City Lights is THE quintessential San Francisco bookstore. It's not in this neighborhood (unfortunately) but I'd be there all the time if it was. This is the bookstore & publishing house owned by Ferlinghetti, who is celebrating his 100th birthday this year (2019). City Lights was the publisher for the Beat Generation, and continues its tradition of publishing literature in translation, poetry, and political theory. They are one of the most culturally significant stores of any kind in the country, influencing whole movements. If you pass through Chinatown or North Beach, consider making a stop here.”
  • 66 locals recommend
Tiki Bar
$$$
“Iconic SF bar. Band plays in a boat that goes back in forth in a lake inside the bar while water falls from the ceiling. True story”
  • 58 locals recommend
Dive Bar
$$
“Famous bar where the great Bob Dylan once hung out. Located right next to City Lights bookstore, it's the place where the great poets of yore gathered for drinks and fun.”
  • 42 locals recommend
Cocktail Bar
$$
“Great place to grab a drink. Great ambience, sometime they have a live jazz band on the weekends. ”
  • 33 locals recommend
Cantonese Restaurant
$$
“My favorite Chinese food in the city, in Chinatown proper - also happens to be Jackie Chan's go-to when in SF, and was one of the restaurants featured in Bourdain's SF episode (RIP Anthony, we love you so) It's hard to get in, go during the day or call to book. I love the R&G beef, so delicious.. ”
  • 31 locals recommend
Jiangsu Restaurant
$$
“There will likely be a line out the door, but it's worth a wait. Yummy Chinese food.”
  • 31 locals recommend
Bakery
$
“Best baked egg custard tarts famously known for with lines out the door in the heart of Chinatown when opened as the owner operated crew take lengthy vacations sometimes. Other items are also worth trying like the coconut tarts, breads, and moon cakes.”
  • 26 locals recommend
Italian Restaurant
$$$
“Iconic bar and restaurant in North Beach where the great bar and drinks are matched by the menu (which you can order at the bar!). And when you are done, you can walk around North Beach and explore one of the most interesting neighborhoods in the city.”
  • 24 locals recommend
Coffee Shop
$$
“The best coffee / pour-overs in the neighborhood. Excellent fresh pastries and avocado toast.”
  • 22 locals recommend
Transportation
“A point of interest on it's own, ride the cable car to the wharf and see San Francisco while hanging off the side of a cable run trolley. It's truly a San Francisco must. Note that the lines pile up at the turn around here, but you can get on and off anywhere, so just walk up the street and jump on, make sure to have cash to pay the ticket though, it should be around $5 or so per ride per person.”
  • 23 locals recommend
French Restaurant
$$$
“French-Cal bistro with an incredible Chef. Bouche was featured in several guides and more recently in 'The National Geographic'. This restuarant is also one of San Francisco's after hours restaurant, where you can eat until 1am!”
  • 13 locals recommend
Szechuan Restaurant
$$
“Chinese: The place for authentic and spicy Sichuan food. Obama ate here, and there's always a line. ”
  • 16 locals recommend
Bakery
$
“Free tours and you can buy your own custom fortune cookies - a great souvenir!”
  • 15 locals recommend
American Restaurant
$$$$
“Sons and Daughters offers a 9-course tasting menu (12 items to try) that leaves you giddy! The staff are also sensitive to diet restrictions and work with the guest in advance of your visit. Expect a quiet and intimate atmosphere. ”
  • 13 locals recommend